There will be two main research activities that will be undertaken in the project: secondary data-gathering on the legal and policy context and the basic indicators of information and communication technology, and a validation workshop on the state of open e-governance in the country, which will assess the secondary data that is gathered. The following are the initial steps necessary in conducting the OeGI at the country level.
A. Preliminary Steps:
i. Development of country project team. At the country level, the project aims to measure the state of access and use of information and community technologies in government, business and civil society in order to participate in economic, political and social decision-making, assess the country’s political and social environment in which these technologies are used, and share the body of knowledge on these issues for the development of new programs, advocacy of new policies or networking among groups to address the issues and concerns raised in the assessment.
The formation of a country team to undertaken the project will consist of the following steps:
- FMA will coordinate with an institution in the pilot country (i.e., academic institution, non-government organization, research group) that will undertake the project. The contact person within that institution will serve as project manager of the study. The project manager shall be responsible for the overall coordination and management of the project and the finalization of the country report; this role should require a high level of commitment and availability.
- The project manager is expected to hire a researcher-writer, who shall be responsible for undertaking the secondary data research. The researcher will assist the project manager in gathering additional information necessary for the development of the country index, and in the drafting of the country report.
- The project manager can formally appoint governance and/or information and community technology policy experts who can assist the project in an unpaid capacity; they will form the country project advisory committee. The committee members should be drawn from different sectors of society (government, private sector/ business, civil society, media, academe); women should be represented in at least 30 percent of the number of members of the committee. The advisory committee is expected to provide guidance in the data-gathering, selection of perception survey respondents and drafting of the country report.
ii. Development of country project timetable and activities. Once the country project team is completed, it is expected that a project timetable will be developed in order to commence the project activities. A budget for field expenses, including those related to the implementation of the survey and validation workshop, are expected to be developed at this stage. It is expected that the country studies will begin in November and will end in February or a total project time period of around three months. The major activities of the project and their expected timetables (in closed parenthesis) are the following:
- Gathering secondary data (one and a half months);
- Conduct of the validation workshop and write-up of results (two to three weeks);
- Drafting of country report (one week);
- Undertake national workshop (one week), and finalization of the country report (one week).
B. Mapping of secondary research and list of possible sources. Secondary data research, which will be used for the country background information, will be undertaken. A list of indicators and possible sources of data is included in Annexes III and IV; the final list of indicators that may be obtained for the country research would depend on the availability of data. The secondary data research will consist of reviewing the documents that are available that can provide some specific quantitative and qualitative measures for indicators that are listed in the Annex IV. Some of the documents that can be reviewed are the following:
- Official government reports, especially from the government’s central information and communication technology policy ministry/ unit and development planning ministry/ unit;
- Reports of statistical surveys and administrative data, especially from the national statistics offices;
- Academic studies and papers;
- Non-government organization and private sector documents;
- Others, including newspaper reports.
For some of the data to be gathered, especially qualitative data, key informant interviews could also be undertaken with information and communication technology policy and governance policy experts. Additional guidance can be obtained from the country project advisory team, if necessary.
C. Undertaking the Validation Workshop. The implementation of the validation workshop is critical since the survey results would determine the country index score.
i. Overview/ Introduction: The validation workshop is the focal process for assessing the quality of the data gathered and for developing the country score in the Open eGovernance Index.
ii. Selection of workshop participants: There should be between 15 to 25 informants that will participate in the validation workshop. The informants should be selected on the basis of their extent of knowledge/ expertise of the major components of the index and on the basis of their diversity, i.e., covering a representative subset of sectors around the country. Participants are expected to come from the following (around three to four each):
Care should be made to ensure gender (women should ideally represent half of the respondents but depending on the country circumstances, the project should work towards ensuring that a third of respondents are women) and regional diversity/national scope (one-fifth of the workshop participants outside the capital) of the workshop.
As much as possible, informants must be holding a leadership or at least a management level position. Also, the key informant for each sector should ideally have a fairly strong knowledge, awareness and exposure to various ICT for development projects, initiatives, and advocacies. To be precise, validation workshop informants are assumed to be familiar if not well-versed with the different topics and questions being asked in the survey instrument.
iii. Conduct of Validation Workshop: The workshop should be administered through face-to-face meeting. It is ideal that the project researcher send a letter inviting the key informant using a form letter (see the Annex V for a suggested letter). At the end of the interviews, the interviewers and the project researcher should check the survey for completeness. Before the workshop, the instrument should be provided main findings from the initial data-gathering.
iv. Encoding of Information. In order to facilitate encoding and integration of the data, the Foundation for Media Alternatives, the project coordinator of the Open E-Governance project, will be provided with an online survey account to enable encoding of the instrument responses. Website account details such as URL, Username and password will be given to each country research partner/designated staff.
The project team can have access to the information from their own country. The FMA will utilize the data in calculating the index for the specific country.
The researcher-writer is requested to undertake a random check on the encoded responses for completeness and accuracy.
D. Data Analysis and Calculation of Index. The index weights are described in the Annex IX. Specific details on the weights of each indicator, in order to develop the dimensional index, and therefore the final index, will be provided.
- Drafting of National Report. At the end of the project, the analytical country report should summarize the implementation process of Open E-Governance project and then provide an analytical assessment of the results of the Index. The suggested outline of the national report should be: Table of contents: this section should list the different parts of the report and the page numbers of the report;
- Foreword: this should include a brief overview of the activities done under the project and the important highlights in the implementation of the report;
- Acknowledgment: this part should recognize the individuals and institutions who assisted in drafting and finalizing the report;
- Tables and Figures, Acronyms: this section should provide the a listing of the tables and figures/ charts of the report, and the list of acronyms utilized in the report;
- Country Background/Overview: this should include a summary of the indicators obtained through the secondary data research, including indicators related to ICT diffusion (telephones, cellphones, internet access and use, and cost);
- Legal and Policy Background of E-Governance: this should include a summary of the different policy instruments, such as the national ICT plan, national e-government plan, open data and open content policy, freedom of information instruments, governing e-governance in the country;
- Analysis of Open E-Governance Index Results: Meshed E-Government; eParticipation Channels; Digital Inclusion; ICT Empowered Civil Society; Enabling and Constraining Environment; this should provide a tabulation of the responses to some of the questions in the perception survey;
- Assessment of Project Methodology in the Country, including the conduct of the secondary data and the validation workshop results, including evaluation/ recommendations on the sampling methodology, instruments utilized, data-gathering process, and data encoding;
- Analysis and Conclusion; this section should provide a brief analysis of open e-governance based on the country background and the perception survey report.
In the analysis of OeGI results for each dimension/ area, the dimensional/ area score should be reported and analyzed by examining the score in the light of the country indicators available in the overview and the legal and policy instruments. Significant relationships between indicators should also be reported. In the analysis of the over-all index score, explanation can be provided for necessary improvements in terms of policies and programs.
The project team members should finalize the drafting of the project report.
ii. Country workshop.The draft national report should be presented during a country workshop. The participants of the workshop can include the country advisory team, representatives of the key informants of the survey and other experts consulted in drafting of the report. It should also be ideal that major policymakers from government, business and civil society be also included in the workshop. The country workshop is a venue for the evaluation of the national findings.
iii. Dissemination and Publication of Report. The final country report should be produced after comments of the country workshop have been integrated. A summary of the report can be produced so that the results of the project can reach a broad audience and disseminated to relevant stakeholders including participants in the implementation process, i.e., survey key informants, participants of validation workshop. At the maximum, a press briefing can be undertaken with a press brief that can be disseminated to media; the press briefing can be conducted with high-profile government, business and civil society leaders in attendance.
4. Post- Implementation Processes. A synthesis/ planning workshop with the project implementation team from the FMA and the different country teams is being planned in November. The workshop will be a venue to discuss common issues and problems in undertaking the OeGI process, drafting the over-all project report and planning the next steps for the OeGI at the national, regional and global levels.